silicon valley

💰Sales Done Right, Best Advice for Startups

💰Sales Done Right, Best Advice for Startups

Phil Solk is a managing partner at Opero Partners. Providing strategic advice and hands-on implementation services to companies seeking to significantly enhance their growth trajectories.

He is a seasoned executive (former C-level, VP and directors) with functional expertise in marketing, sales management, operations, product & technology development, finance strategy, funding & M&A.

We interview him on Sales techniques, best practices, and advice for startups.

Startups and Office Space with Mary Blazer and Carlos Serreno-Quan Ep8

Startups and Office Space with Mary Blazer and Carlos Serreno-Quan Ep8

Carlos and Mary are top Commercial real estate agents in Silicon Valley who work with companies at all stages to find them the perfect office space. We talk about the leases that startup enter and what they should know when looking for a space such as; where their employees live, transportation, proximity to companies they can recruit from... We talk about working with landlords and items they might be flexible on, what tenant improvements are and how they effect a lease, finding out what office space might be more appropriate depending the needs of the company and the product or research they do and more.  Watch this before signing a commercial lease.







     Jock Breitwieser     With over 20 years of international communications expertise in agencies and in-house, Jock Breitwieser is senior director marketing communications and public relations at StorageCraft. In addition, founded  to help everyone leverage the power of social media for their business. Most recently, he ran corporate communications at TriNet. Prior to that, Jock drove awareness for Dell SonicWall, Callidus Cloud and clients of the Hoffman Agency, Edelman and Havas PR. His mission is to close the gap between marketing and sales by driving measurable results through a strategy that generates media awareness, wins customers and impacts the bottom line for the business. Jock is mentor at the German Accelerator Silicon Valley and launched a network security startup through a successful Kickstarter campaign. Jock wrote a bestselling book on communications and won numerous marketing and communications awards. He holds an M.A. in contemporary history, law and political sciences from the University of Bochum, Germany and studied in Tours/France with a scholarship of the European Union. In his spare time, Jock enjoys international travel and competes in Triathlons.           </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"        

        Director     Tom Clark    Technical Director   Tom Clark    Sound Technician Bill Lindemann    Character Generator  Michelle Yuan    Floor Director   Jim Seawright    Camera 1 Christine Cray-Rubin    Camera 2 John Farley    Camera 3 Jim Twu    Creative Designer Sergio Smirnoff    Intro speaker  0:11    Welcome to Silicon Valley successes, we interview experts and entrepreneurs to get the world access to the knowledge and experience that is here in Silicon Valley. Our mission is to create opportunities for those who seek them and tell you to become the next Silicon Valley success.     Shawn Flynn  0:31    Welcome to Silicon Valley successes. So on today's show, we have jock, who is a social media expert. He works with companies from early stage to corporations to plan their social media, and give them tips and tricks on on best practices and how to succeed. But before we start jock, could you     Jock Breitwieser  0:47    please introduce yourself? Absolutely. Thanks, Sean. Thanks for having me. Really excited to be here. And like you just said jock rod, wiser. And I've been dealing with social media for a number of years. And eventually you came from a position of not liking it at all, to then really becoming a huge fan and starting my own business around it. So excited to be here and share some insights.     Shawn Flynn  1:12    Tell me about that journey. So you said you didn't like it. I didn't know how your nine to five and probably nine to nine, because it's Silicon Valley is focused on it. So     Unknown  1:22    the transition Tell me about that path was it was an interesting path indeed. And so     Jock Breitwieser  1:26    I initially really ran Corporate Communications for companies. And so had been running a lot of corporate social media accounts, and so very familiar with that. And obviously, a very effective way of getting the name and the brand out there. And then at the same time, I was having my own personal social media accounts on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. And after looking at them for a little bit, I realized they didn't really do much for me. So I looked at the people connecting with me, I looked at the people looking at my profile, and it just wasn't the right people. I didn't get any traction, I didn't get any kind of results. And I came to a point where I essentially decided to just pull the plug and just get out of it. And, and not continued anymore, because there was no point you know, I thought for me in doing so. And then when you're saying you didn't get any results, you say, no one liked your tweets. Or     Unknown  2:23    don't repost it, or it wasn't, it was no one responded to your message,     Jock Breitwieser  2:27    I wasn't so much looking for fame, or anything like that I was. So for example, on LinkedIn, just looking at the people that visited my profile, looking at, you know, the kind of connections I made, there just was not really the kind of the right kind of audience that I was looking to engage with. So I was looking for, let's say, mentors, or people that I could connect with professionally, or and learn from it. Or maybe that would, you know, helped me in my career development. Okay. And there was nothing like that it was mostly salespeople.     Unknown  3:00    Yeah,     Jock Breitwieser  3:02    nothing against that it was just not what I was looking for, personally at that point in time. And so it's more of a nuisance than anything. Well, I wouldn't call it that. But it definitely didn't really benefit me in that sense. And so because I decided then to essentially get out of it, I figured I might as well just mess with the system a little bit and see what happens. And so I started turning the screws a little bit and posting things that otherwise I wouldn't have posted. And all of a sudden, I saw actually really interesting results. And so that intrigued me, and then I started just digging a little bit deeper and started essentially just fine tuning the system and learning a little bit more about social media, and how you can actually really drive it with a purpose. Okay. And once I started doing that, became amazingly impactful. And so I learned from that lesson, and then really changed my entire approach to it. Okay,     Shawn Flynn  4:03    so if I'm an early stage company, and I want to start a social media campaign, drive it with the purposes you just said, what should my initial thought be? How do I plan it out? What are the steps? And I know, that's a huge question. But, you know, take your time, what should my thought process be?     Jock Breitwieser  4:21    That's, it can be a really big question, right? But at the same time,     it can be very simple. And at the end of the day, the biggest thing that you need to have is, you need to have a purpose, you need to think about what you're trying to achieve. And many individuals as well as companies that I'm engaging with, they essentially just go on social media, because they, they feel it's a necessity, and they they just want to get their name out, and that they're trying the best they can. And in many cases, that is not really a good strategy. Because it just means you're going to pump out content without really whole lot of purpose. There's no positioning, right? You don't really you don't have a goal that you aim for. And so you know, thinking about the perspective of what you're trying to get out of it. So, for example, are you looking to, are you looking to get people to visit your profile? Are you looking to maybe gets people to attend webinars or watch specific episodes of a TV show, right there, things like that, you have to think about that from that perspective. And then essentially reverse engineer think about, Okay, so what's, you know, what is attracting those people? Who are they? What do what are they looking to get out of it? And why should they be engaging with me on social media of all things?     Shawn Flynn  5:43    Okay, so say, I have a purpose to get more people to watch a hypothetical TV show. Well, I just coming out with this right now, what what would the first steps be to try to get to that angle right     Jock Breitwieser  5:58    now? So it's a that's really good question. And the way the way you go about this is really think about the people that would potentially be benefiting from your product. So from this hypothetical TV show, and so you would think about, okay, so what do they do? What are their titles, you know, what do they do during the day? Potentially? So, you essentially build a buyer persona, you you kind of     Unknown  6:24    what buyer persona, can you tell talk about that,     Jock Breitwieser  6:27    that was my excellent, sorry, I meant you build a buyer persona, okay, so you, you think about, you know, who buys your product, or who just watches your soul? Ryan okay. And so you think about in more specific terms about the individual that you're trying to reach, right, okay. And from there, then you essentially just try to tie it back into what they're looking to achieve. And you really then tailor your message, for example, on social media to help them understand this particular TV show is exactly what you're looking to get out of it. And by watching it, you can learn amazing things, you get maybe recipes, how you can be successful in Silicon Valley, maybe you learn tricks from professionals that otherwise you wouldn't be able to meet, or that otherwise you wouldn't be able to speak to things like that. And social selling. And it's essentially the same thing, right. So when you look at LinkedIn, for instance, when many people on LinkedIn, they want to sell something, right, maybe it's themselves, maybe they have a product, maybe they are, in particular industries, like real estate insurance, right? or high tech sales, whatever it might be, it doesn't really matter. And so many people can talk about that title, their VP of sales, or something like that, or they, you know, they talked about being a director of something. And having made clubs on so many times fine. And that's not particularly helpful to me, assuming that I'm the person wanting to buy particular product, right? Because I don't want to know about how you made club 15 times, I want to know how you help the people like me achieve     what they are looking to, to address in their life. Right. So how do you how do you solve my problem, essentially?     Shawn Flynn  8:18    So if I wanted to start a social media campaign, would you recommend starting on LinkedIn and trying to convey that one problem to people? Or would you recommend what would your tips and tricks be for LinkedIn, I guess, and run talking about other social medias after that?     Jock Breitwieser  8:35    Yeah, so the the interesting thing is, it's, it's really depends a lot on that, you know, that audience that you're looking to achieve, right, there's no silver bullet, there's no particular platform that is particularly great for anybody and Facebook doesn't have all the answers. It doesn't Unfortunately, it has many answers, some, some of which you may or may not like.     So the thing is really think about, you know, this persona that you're trying to, to engage with, right?     What platform are they most likely to use? Right? Are they most likely to be found on Facebook? Or are they may be more LinkedIn, you know, where do they share content? What kind of content do they consume? And so from that perspective, then you think about the one or two platforms that you actually are going to be engaging with, and that you're going to be using in order to actually speak to your audience. So there's, there's no particular like I said, you know, one size fits all approach, right? You really have to think about it every time, you know, depending on you know, are you trying to do this for your own personal needs, you know, are you trying to help a business, and in many cases, it really varies quite a bit. On the other hand, you know, there's, there are some common threads, right. So, for example, for b2b companies, in many cases, a combination of Twitter and LinkedIn is fabulous. Okay, it works great, right? Because professionals are on LinkedIn. And they also in many cases, have, for example, a Twitter profile, or the company has a Twitter profile, because it's relatively easy to maintain, right. And so companies will use that combination as a sales channel, essentially, or to share news about their business, okay. And, you know, when you have consumer products, just generally speaking, maybe Pinterest and Instagram, and a combination of these two, together with Facebook might be much more appropriate and much more effective     Shawn Flynn  10:40    interest in so say, I was a new client and I came to you and I said, you know, our company, we just raised our first round of funding, we now have some money to actually pay for social media campaign, our product is in the baby industry,     how would you go about making suggest? Or how would you go about the onboarding process for a new client in that situation? Right? So the,     Jock Breitwieser  11:04    the process for for anybody who wants to help, you know, that particular company should be one where they really try to understand the business model, right? It's about understanding what is this business trying to do? Right? So are they trying to sell to mothers? Are they trying to sell a particular product, maybe two families in particular, is it maybe an insurance or maybe an education kind of, you know, financial foundation that you want to leave for your, for your baby, so that they can go to college later on. So this, there's a whole variety of products, obviously, that somebody can have. So you need to understand as a consultant how, you know, what are they trying to do, and what are they already doing, right, because     the important thing is also, you know, when you when you look at social selling, it shouldn't be standing on on its own right, it needs to tie into everything that accompanies already doing. So,     for example, if you have a marketing campaign where you have webinars or where you, I don't know, where you set up events, right, you want to make sure that those things tie together and that they amplify each other, right? Social media is a fantastic tool for amplification of things like that. But, you know, if you if you just talk about yourself, again, you know, if you don't show the benefit of attending a webinar or a particular event, you know, then then you're kind of losing your audience. And so, it's, it's all about helping that audience understand, why should it be talking to this company? Why should I? Why, why does it matter, right? How is it going to impact my life, how's it going to make my life better at the end of the day, you know, that's what everybody's looking for, as an individual. And everybody is trying to find a solution to personal or to a business problem. And, and so if you talk to people on social media, if you want to do social selling, that is really what you need to understand. How do you solve somebody's problem, if you just talked about yourself, if you just talked about, you know how awesome your product is, nobody's going to care about that. That's what I was gonna     Shawn Flynn  13:10    lead in China, or practices. But that's the first part of today's episode with jock. We talked about the ideas about your social media strategies coming back in our second part, we're going to focus a little bit more on startups they're planted little going to go back to webinars and some other things that were brought up to emphasize those and see what ideas startups might be missing. So all right, let's go back to part or start Part Two right now, you mentioned webinars before Oh, I forgot to say, please visit us in Silicon Valley. Did that later.     You talked about webinars a little bit before, is that something that startups are missing out on or many clients you've talked to are missing out on for engaged in potential customers?     Jock Breitwieser  14:01    That's a great question. I I do think webinars can be extremely effective. And again, you know, if you make them part of your marketing mix, if you promote them on on social media, if you show value in a particular webinar, those are great resources, right. Because you can get terrific soundbites from a webinar you can show you can show your audience how you actually help address a particular problem. But again, you know, it's it's also about making sure that the content of you know, whatever webinar or event you're setting up really helps that audience solve the problem at the end of the day. You know, it sounds extremely simple, but that's really what it's all about. I do you want to make sure that in that webinar, you don't you don't just talk about your products and how fantastic they are, right. It's about maybe showcasing a customer that you helped drive maybe you How would you go about getting those testimonials from the customers brand new company? Well, I think the thing is in, in marketing, you know, the, the value that you want to share with your customers is one where they again, you know, you want to work with them, and you want to showcase them, you want to show how they have been successfully able to actually make a change in their current strategy, or maybe how they were able to turn something around that didn't work, right. And so giving them an opportunity to showcase themselves and saying, and by the way, company x happened to be part of that process, or, you know, we were able to, to work with them on improving a particular part of our strategy that goes a long way, right. So is I think it's really an opportunity for you to showcase how a company then has been able to turn things around successfully and really share that success and give them a platform. And who wouldn't want to talk about     Shawn Flynn  16:01    other platforms in particular, you would avoid or stay away from maybe Instagram or LinkedIn or Facebook or Pinterest? I know there's Rob mentioned, but is there one or two that are growing and others that are shrinking or? I mean,     Jock Breitwieser  16:17    no, I don't think so. You know, I think there there are specific webinar platforms. But I think as far as sharing that content goes     doing little takeouts for example from from a webinar creating snippets that are maybe 90 seconds or two minutes long. And creating that kind of visual content. That is actually a fantastic way of promoting something that you have to say, through social media channels to different audiences. Because visual audience, visual visual content is extremely easy to consume. People don't necessarily like reading 500 thousand words. And it's really hard to squeeze that into your, into your workday, right? Yeah. So you know, being able to watch 90 seconds on a video that are compelling, that show you how a company that has maybe similar to yours was able to solve a problem that goes a long way     Shawn Flynn  17:16    as a company, what are some metrics that I should be looking at to see if my social media campaigns were successful, or that I'm actually get my money's worth, right?     Jock Breitwieser  17:26    The The challenge with measuring social media is that there's a lot of different ways of looking at that, right. So for example, you could look at vanity metrics I call them, right, so you could look at is the number of followers increasing, right? That in it by itself is great, you definitely want to see your accounts grow. But it's not necessarily something that speaks volumes about the success, right, because ultimately, as a business,     what you want to achieve through social media is you want to see traction in your business. So you can gain 5000 followers, but nobody is engaging with you, or nobody's buying your product as a result. So the result is still net zero. And and so what you want to see is you want to see engagement with your audience, you want to see people maybe am clicking on the links that you share on social media so that they come to specific landing pages, but you want to see maybe subscribers to your email newsletters, so that you can actually gain influence and that you can reach out to more people and hopefully convince them to buy your product or your service on     I think ultimately, it's also about the relationship between marketing and sales.     Unknown  18:38    Okay, can you talk about that a little bit?     Jock Breitwieser  18:41    Yeah, yeah, the the sales marketing relationship is, it's really important, right. And in many companies, what you find is both departments essentially, you know, march down their own path, and they kind of run separately, okay. And at the end of the day, that's not really what you want, right? You want sales and marketing to be one word, and you want that team to jointly understand that they're really trying to solve the same kind kind of challenges. One, and one is on the front lines, the sales team, and the other one is trying to drive awareness, trying to get interest, right, trying to get leads, and and so ultimately, marketing without sales is nothing. And likewise, so and so both teams really have to work alongside and they have to be in lockstep and there's one lead the other he said, locks, so really, they're moving together same time, I think it's, it's really moving together. And I think it's about getting a joint understanding between the leaders of both teams, okay. And so, you know, when you look at marketing and social media, or social selling, in particular, that was, to me, actually, one of the reasons why I got into social selling. So after realizing the power of social media, you know, on my personal accounts, I figured, you know, it's a great way to actually help the sales team be successful. Because if I can use social media to teach sales teams, how to build their profiles, how to build audiences, how to actually share relevant content, and then drive inbound leads, that is extremely helpful, right?     Unknown  20:22    And so that's what I've been doing for for many years. And would you say, a lot of companies aren't fully utilizing? Oh, absolutely, really?     Jock Breitwieser  20:30    Yeah, this the, this a lot of challenges in in social selling, right, and     Unknown  20:35    what are some of them. So,     Jock Breitwieser  20:37    some are, for example, some people just really don't feel they belong into social media, right, they have never seen any success from it, they just prefer to essentially go, you know, with picking up the phone or sending an email. And unfortunately, you know, that's not how, how the life cycle of the buyer has developed, right. So the buyer today does a lot of research, right, the buyer is really shaping how the sales cycle has progressed. So buyers do a lot of research online, and they speak to they speak to a lot of vendors, but only when they feel they have the right information. So for, for the salesperson to actually use social media and help the buyer understand, hey, I'm an expert in this field, whether or not you end up buying my product may not be that relevant. But I can definitely share interesting information with you, you and I should talk right and building yourself that position of a trusted resource as somebody who has valuable information that is something that's then on social media allows me to actually leverage social to gain influence in the buying process, and make sure that you think of me when you want to buy your next car, or when you want to buy a piece of software.     Shawn Flynn  21:54    So the social media information out there is actually kind of guided and shaping that customer his research and you have to position it for them to come back to you through that path. Is that a way to say     Jock Breitwieser  22:06    it? Yeah, no, I think that's exactly how I would say it. And so it's a little bit backwards, you know, when you think about it, it's almost like, like, a white paper or a byline article that you read in a newspaper, on you read the article, and somebody says something really smart, and you think, and, you know, you read it, and then in the end, you say, um, that's really good, I should use that information, who wrote that, oh, this guy from this in this company, okay, I want to talk to him or her, or I want to see what kind of product that company has. And on social media, it's essentially very similar, right, your offer ups information, you try to really, genuinely help. And it's really about building that relationship, being that trusted advisor and and really     Shawn Flynn  22:50    trying to help somebody make a step forward in solving the problem that they have, by offering up information that's valuable, how would you know what gap in the problem you're trying to solve the gap? I mean, the information that you're missing out there in social media, how can you discover that, and what I mean by that is, say, you're trying to solve this one problem for this customer, and you have all this social media out there. But for some reason, you're missing this one little segment right there, how do you go about discovering that that's what you're missing, right? So, you know,     Unknown  23:21    again,     Jock Breitwieser  23:25    on on social media and using it for, for the sales process, you really have to think about, you know, where your buyer is, and what their, what their issues are, right. And so, it's entirely possible, that's that you that you miss a piece, and what I would always advise companies that I work with, is also to take smart risks, so I didn't, and so experiment a little bit, and, you know, you have to consider also, the buyer is not static, right? It's not, it's not something that is just defined, and then it doesn't move anymore. It's know trends, tastes, you know, you know, all these things just shift over time. And so, you know, you also must really consider, you know, you're not a one dimensional person. Yeah, you're not just, I hope that you're not. So you have you have different interests, maybe you have, maybe you have a family, right, maybe you do sports, so there's many different levels, how you can engage with people, and using social media is actually a great way to figure that one out, right? So, for example, Twitter and LinkedIn, fundamentally different, right, on LinkedIn, you have a much more structured and much more formal kind of conversation on Twitter. It's very conversational, right? Sometimes it's like a bar, right? And people are shouting over each other and whatnot. And so being able to figure out what is this person say on Twitter, right? What's their personality? What do they say about themselves? What are their personal opinion? And how do they represent themselves? For example, in a professional network, like LinkedIn, what are their interests there, and then being able to strike up a conversation about different elements and different aspects of a personality that actually I've seen work fantastically in the sales process. OK, so we've talked about     Shawn Flynn  25:15    solving the problem for the, for the client, or the, the potential buyer, we've talked about how different social medias there's a different type of voice or feel to it, such as LinkedIn, and Twitter, what Haven't we talked about the really things important that people should know,     Jock Breitwieser  25:33    I would say, for, for everybody to get in that and really     gives off a media chance that that would be the first thing that I would say, because it's, I think, you know, many times people just get into social and they, they give it a shot. And then they give up. And I think there's huge potential a, from a business side, but also personally, I've met amazing people, both professional and personally on social media that otherwise I never would have met, right. So that's one     I think, consistency is big, right? I see many people fail on social because they try to do too many things at once, okay. And they tried to be on five platforms, and they try to blog and then it doesn't work. And after two weeks, they give up because they're burned out, okay. And so, you know, limiting yourself and actually doing the right thing and consistently doing it for an extended period of time as as something else. And then the third one I would say, is probably investing in social media, both from a financial but also from a time perspective. And so from a financial perspective, in terms of     getting services that may be cost you $50 a month or hundred dollars a month can be really, really effective, because you get much better services, whereas some of those services, and then 30 seconds to talk about how people can contact you and your services.     So in terms of services, for example, buffer is a great tool just to manage your social media presence, right? It makes it really, really easy and allows you to stage a lot of content. So that's 120 dollars a month. That's really good investment.     And this some others, right, so like, really interesting research tools.     In terms of reaching me, I have a phone number, it's 408 800     jock j ck. So that's, that is one and this website social selling key. Say that one more time social selling and yeah, I'm online on LinkedIn.     Shawn Flynn  27:46    JACK, thank you for your time here today and Silicon Valley successes and we look forward to everyone next week when we bring you another episode. Thank you.     Intro speaker  27:57    Thank you. From all of us at Silicon Valley success. We hope you found the information presented today useful in your path to success. For further information on accessing the resources in Silicon Valley. You may visit us on the web at Silicon Valley successes. com on Facebook and YouTube. Thank you. And remember, we want to help you in your journey to become the next success.      

Welcome to Silicon Valley Successes. So on today's show, we have Jock, who is a social media expert. He works with companies from early stage to corporations to plan their social media, and give them tips and tricks on on best practices and how to succeed. But before we start Jock, could you







     The Bay Area representative of Ukraine’s largest tech innovation park, UNIT.City, Matt Lewis is a builder of bridges between Silicon Valley and Eastern Europe. On the one hand he acts as an advisor to US firms seeking talented engineering teams in Ukraine. On the other, he assists startups from Kiev and Moscow to set up operations in the Bay Area, secure customers and attract venture capital. He has some 15 years of experience investing in technology companies, including positions in equity research, private equity and portfolio management. He is also an organizer of private gatherings between VCs and startups through the Bay Area based organization, Silicon Valley Planet.  Tour of UNIT.City        </iframe>" data-provider-name="YouTube"           Director     Tom Clark    Technical Director   Tom Clark    Sound Technician Bill Lindemann    Character Generator  Michelle Yuan    Floor Director   Jim Seawright    Camera 1 Christine Cray-Rubin    Camera 2 John Farley    Camera 3 Jim Twu    Creative Designer Sergio Smirnoff      Intro speaker  0:09    Welcome to Silicon Valley successes, we interview experts and entrepreneurs to give the world access to the knowledge and experience that is here in Silicon Valley. Our mission is to create opportunities for those who seek them     until you to become the next Silicon Valley success.     Shawn Flynn  0:29    Welcome to Silicon Valley successes. So today we have Matt from unit city, which is the largest tech park in Ukraine. We're going to talk about startups coming from Ukraine or Eastern Europe here to Silicon Valley. We're going to talk about some of the advantages and disadvantage they have. We're talking about a lot of opportunities that many people at home that's watching this may not know about. So to start, Matt, could you please introduce yourself? Well, first of all, I'd like to say thank you so much for having me on the show.     Unknown  0:58    introducing myself. Let's see. Have you ever heard of a Rhodes Scholar before? I've heard that term, but please do elaborate. Yeah,     Matthew Lewis  1:05    so it's pronounced road, but it's spelled differently, r o ad. So and that means basically, I spent a lot of time on the road. So I'm from Northern California, but I lived in Europe, worked in Europe, London, Paris, and eventually ended up in Moscow for something like over 10 years. Oh, wow. Yeah. So I was doing a lot of commercial real estate in Russia and Ukraine. And today, I continue to work with Ukraine. Oh, wow. Okay. And what did you come to Silicon Valley? I'm actually from Northern California. And I started my career in tech. I was covering technology companies for an investment bank. And, and I rode that internet, boom, all the way up, and then all the way down.     And I got off the roller coaster at the very bottom. Okay, sounds good. Yeah. And then, yeah, yeah, that was an interesting ride. Then I decided to have a change of scenery. So I spent some time in London and Paris and ended up in Moscow. And I made I say, a lateral move. So so my career always had something to do with dollars and investments, initially, technology companies, then private equity, okay, so initially was investment banking, covering technology companies, then private equity, and then commercial real estate and did that for a good long time. And then came full circle. Eventually, the real estate brought me back to technology, tech innovation parks, and I represent the largest one in Ukraine. It's something like 62 acres. Wow, yeah, in the capital of the country. And, and in here, I am back in California, too. So it's kind of nice to have traveled as full circle. And it all kind of makes logical sense. And, you know, there's a storyline so     Shawn Flynn  3:01    I'm really happy about that. It sounds like you've had this amazing adventure travel in the world and experience and all these cultures in that. So with your role right now, unit city, could you explain first a little bit what unit city is and kind of the idea behind it, and what the goals are for     Matthew Lewis  3:14    it? Sure. So unit city is a huge tech Innovation Park. Now, we hear those words here in the US. And we think we know what it means. But I don't, I don't think we really do. So it's one place where there are all kinds of different technology companies. And we have that in Silicon Valley. But we have to drive everywhere to get from one place to another, okay. In Kenya, in unit city, we have a central square. And there are all kinds we have green areas and outdoor cafes and     food vendors when the weather's good, and, you know, it's it's very nice territory. And it's, it's huge. It's getting bigger. Every month, I took someone from Silicon Valley there who was asking me, you say, I don't really get the idea of a tech Innovation Park. And as we were crossing that central square, he met four really interesting people just by accident, got their contact information. By the time we got to the other end of the square exists. Now I get it. Yeah.     So you just bring together all these great minds from different sectors, say coding, schools, accelerators, big companies, r amp, D, centers, startups, and you just mix them all up. And I call it I like to think of it as the power of proximity, or also     thought up this term driving here, forced serendipity, you know, kind of make your own luck, bring all these people together.     Shawn Flynn  4:48    So in this tech part, people are living, they're raising families everything, or is it just more for those guys, they just graduate from college, they single work six months leave, like, what's kind of the social dynamics,     Unknown  5:03    you know, you had to work for us? Because that was a really good question.     Matthew Lewis  5:07    That's the direction we're going in. Yeah, so today, we have no trouble attracting startups. We're just we don't have to advertise nothing. They're always there. They they want to be part of our scene. And eventually we are going to build residential units will have schools for kids. So you could raise your kids there, it's gonna be a delightful place for anybody in tech who's raising a family but that comes a little bit later and a few years. Okay,     Shawn Flynn  5:36    so then right now, with with unit city, you have companies from Europe migrating to this location to set up their their offices, is that correct?     Matthew Lewis  5:45    That's correct. I would say that our emphasis is on American companies, however. Okay, so let's back up just for a minute. So. So Ukraine, it's the largest outsourcing market in Europe, believe in not they they turn out more engineers per year than any other European country. Now, it's not part of the EU. But it does have a free trade agreement with Europe. And you don't need a visa to come to Ukraine from Europe, or to go to the EU from Ukraine. Okay, so it's, it's getting economically integrated. And where did I want to go after that? What was what was your question?     Shawn Flynn  6:26    The company's go into Ukraine, and then you said mostly not so much Europe, but focus of America? Oh, yeah, there was a statistic in my head. So something like 80% of the outsourcing revenue is is     Matthew Lewis  6:42    serving us companies. Okay. Yeah.     Shawn Flynn  6:44    So US companies are very important to Ukraine. Now, are these companies, early stage companies? Are they more corporations? Who are they? Yeah,     Matthew Lewis  6:51    I think they're big corporations, their startups, I'll tell you which companies were interested in, we're interested in startups, they're on the verge of scaling. So they can see on the horizon that they need to hire a lot of engineers, and they're worried they're not going to be able to do it in Silicon Valley, because there's just so much talent to go around. And it's very expensive here.     Shawn Flynn  7:14    Okay. So with that expense, how much cheaper is it in Ukraine to hire engineers there versus the US? You know, it depends on which language you're talking about. But I would say the correct language, right. Well, just     Unknown  7:28    yo. Yeah. program. Yeah. So yeah,     Unknown  7:30    I'd say the pecking order in terms of cost.     Matthew Lewis  7:35    So Ukraine and Bella roofs will be about the same level, Russia is going to be a little bit more expensive, really. And, but I really, yes, it is inexpensive compared to Silicon Valley. But if someone is only interested in cost, how much it costs, if they don't hear anything else, if that's all that matters to them. We don't want that kind of customer. Okay, because they typically we make a lot of mistakes. They're focused on the wrong things. I'd like to tell you. What is interesting about working with Ukrainian programmers. Yeah. So in in Asia, and a lot of Asian countries. I hear complaints from people that they hear Yes. A lot then. And the yes     Unknown  8:19    and yes.     Unknown  8:20    doesn't necessarily mean yes. It's like the way we say like, I hear you. I hear you. Yes.     Unknown  8:25    Yes, we're speaking and I hear you. Okay. Yes, yes.     Unknown  8:29    So     Unknown  8:30    experiences way too many times.     Unknown  8:31    Okay. I said, I've heard     Matthew Lewis  8:36    cases in which someone says, I'd like this done in two weeks, I'd like these features. And then two weeks go by, and it's as if that first conversation ever took place. Yeah. Okay. Now     Ukraine, Russia, that part of the world, very different, okay. Very different. So you could ask them to finish that project with those features. In two weeks, you get a response impossible, or I don't think that's a good idea.     You get pushed back. Yeah, but it's actually constructive pushback. So it's, it's a little bit jarring coming from our culture where the customer is always right. Yeah, to have to have somebody telling, you know, I don't think that's a good idea, or That's impossible. Yeah. But the funny thing is the very next day, they'll there'll be some significant process done already. Okay. Yeah. So it's it's a, it's a circuitous path, you know, no, no, no, and     Shawn Flynn  9:37    you actually get to where you want to go. Okay. Yeah. So little kind of tell me just go back to about the workflow of working with Ukraine program or development team there, if you're a start up here, or someone that as you'd mentioned, you know, is on a growth projector want to scale but may not be able to hire the engineers here. So, yeah, say I'm start up here. I have no context to Ukraine. What's the whole point process? What does it look like?     Matthew Lewis  10:04    Okay, so it depends on what kind of company you are, and whether you've already worked with teams abroad, never worked with teams abroad, my first startup PhD from Stanford think I know everything, but I don't.     Unknown  10:19    Very good description, though. I'm just such people just came over that. Yeah,     Matthew Lewis  10:24    let's see. So I in in that case, I would recommend that someone on the team is in this time zone, who understands both cultures. So that could be someone like me, or more ideally, it would be a say, a Ukrainian or a Russian program or project manager who has 10 years experience working in US reporting to US companies and managing teams abroad. Okay, so quite a few benefits. First of all, yes, it's going to be less expensive, because the bulk of the the team is in Kiev to you're going to communicate in your own time zone. Yeah. And yes, there is an overlap of time zones, 123 hours. Yeah, but I can tell you, I,     I call someone and say, Ukraine or Lithuania, wherever it is, and they're tired when I'm at the top of my game, or vice versa. And we can never both be at the top of our games. It's very difficult. So it's nice to have someone in this time zone you can speak to, and someone who understands their point of view and knows how to deliver your message in the right context. Okay. Yeah,     Shawn Flynn  11:40    that's the key. So that person is translating both language and cultural and in kind of that point of view, and that's actually more important than just that language translation. Exactly. I couldn't agree more. Okay. Yeah. But tell me about the onboarding process. So I'm startup I come to you, I say, I want a Ukrainian development team, and you're going to be the middle person or your you'll introduce the middle person? Well, I'll continue to be involved because I want the relationship to be a successful one. Okay, I'll never completely give up some kind of involvement.     Matthew Lewis  12:12    Okay. And the unit city brand is really important to us. We, we want only success stories and Silicon Valley. So all the links     Unknown  12:20    appear,     Unknown  12:22    certainly.     Matthew Lewis  12:26    And so depending on on your experience live, if you have no experience managing teams abroad, I think we'd better to have a few local, so save myself than a project manager based in wherever San Jose or San Francisco know who's going to interface with you and manage the team abroad. And you'd be signing a contract with US company, what else could I tell you, if if you are a company     that has a lot of resources, wants to hire a lot of engineers over time and you want flexibility, we could even create a turnkey solution where you eventually own a subsidiary in Ukraine. So we can, we can create a solution across the whole spectrum of possibilities. And, and what's great about unit city is that we have so many resources, we can pull them down. If you're scaling fast. We have a coding school with nearly 1000 students, a data science school 50 startups so and we, we know all these teams, we've seen them perform over time. So it's not as if we're giving you some people that we that we haven't properly checked out and vetted.     Unknown  13:43    So     Shawn Flynn  13:45    that concludes part one of this interview. To find out more information, please visit Silicon Valley success is calm. And in part two, we're going to continue to talk about more of unit city of the resources and startups from Ukraine come into Silicon Valley, and vice versa. So with that, let's start part two. So Matt, can you please talk about a little bit more about the resources that unit city     Matthew Lewis  14:06    so I mentioned the coding school, let me let me flesh that out a little bit. We call it unit factory. And it the curriculum we use is from coding school. 42 Yeah, so, you know, 42 there, and Fremont. Oh, yeah. Ben over there. Yeah.     Unknown  14:21    Jamie? I know the whole to hold to a critical here. Yeah,     Matthew Lewis  14:25    very nice. facilities. Yes. Yeah. So so we have their curriculum, okay. And the other is the most striking thing about their program is that tuition is free. Yeah, so I think that's a little bit like the Cambridge University model, or the Harvard University model. People are trying to get in there into Harvard, because it's a great reputation. 53 years of tuition free education. That sounds great from the top school. So when people arrive on their first day, we already have some outstanding minds in our,     Unknown  14:58    you know, every class the whole universities too good to be true when they arrive, or, uh, yeah,     Matthew Lewis  15:04    I imagine some of them are scratching their heads. How is this possible? Yeah, yeah.     Unknown  15:09    Who's still in my career.     Matthew Lewis  15:11    And the other thing that's unusual about the program is that there are no instructors per se. So teams are formed, and you're given cases that resemble real life problems, and you try to solve them. And there's actually some kind of map. Have you seen that map that Labyrinth, you have to work their way through? Yeah.     Shawn Flynn  15:32    before you graduate? Yeah. But, but let's go back. Tell me more about the resources of units city there. Okay. And also, let's kind of get to where we're talking about startups from unit city coming here. And maybe the difficulties that they face, right, but right, yeah, yeah,     Matthew Lewis  15:46    we haven't had a lot of startups Come this way. Yet from unit city, because we're still relatively young, where we're at two years old. Okay. Yeah. But we have what do we have 9889 buildings up beautiful office buildings. You can see the links on the on the website after this, this interview.     So talking about Ukrainian startups coming this way. So one of our accelerators is focused on global startups who are interested in the US market and I will facilitate their their transition to the US what kind of problems do I see what kind of mistakes are being made over and over again? Well, a lot of startups come here, and they, they, they come over here for a week or two. And they come in a big group of startups from the same country. So they show up here. And we are Lotfi and start     it if people here think, okay, that's a little strange. Why is that important? And what do you do? Right? So you do not brand yourself is from a particular country. No one cares here. Yeah, right. Now, it's another matter if you go to, let's say, a blockchain conference. And you discover that, oh, all the good startups were from Ukraine. Well, that's a pretty powerful message. Yeah, but you got to let people discover that for themselves. Okay,     so that's number one. Number two, you really need to stay here, you need someone here. And I would say not just one person, at least two, you need to have each other's back. And you need to assimilate, you need to think like a native of Silicon Valley. And to do that you need to break out of your community, whatever it is, if you're, if you're Chinese, you should not be hanging out with all the other Chinese founders. You need to need to really dive into Silicon Valley and discover it. Yeah, yeah.     Shawn Flynn  17:41    Now, I've seen that with a lot of the groups here in Silicon Valley where where they'll send a VC over from a country and they'll just hang out with their that that group, whether we're Chinese, Japanese, Korean, they never actually immerse themselves in Silicon Valley, and they never get access to the good companies because of that, or Yes, deal flow. That's a huge mistake. What are some of the other problems that     Matthew Lewis  18:08    founders from Ukraine might face when they come here? Do they have visa problems? Or because they're startups they're able to get those? Or is that again, easier? harder? That that is a good question. And I need to crack that I have a number of friends who are immigration lawyers. So I'm just going to hand this over to them. I'm not on top of it just yet. But I have not come across anyone who has been in such dire straits. They had leaves, okay. Yeah, and I will say this of the Ukrainian startups or the Ukrainian founders who are very successful here. They spent some time United States before their startup got traction, so I don't know if WhatsApp is that he immigrated here pretty young young cool, but there's a Ukrainian team and WhatsApp and and yon is originally from Ukraine. Grammarly Grammarly I don't know if we considered Grammarly Ukrainian or Canadian but they're Ukrainian guys     pet pig. Yeah, I don't know how many years they were here before. And I think I think they got here through China actually. So that's an interesting path they took how many years     Shawn Flynn  19:20    do you think it takes a founder or someone from Ukraine to kind of get acclimated to Silicon Valley?     Matthew Lewis  19:26    Well, it depends on the person but if if you're applying yourself I would say a year Yeah, I got acclimated in Russia in about a year. Okay. Yeah, I don't look Russian. You know, I can open a taxi door No, speak English to me. Just look but yeah, my recommendation go to a lot of parties. Yeah, just just speak, speak, speak. And next thing you know your local Okay,     Shawn Flynn  19:53    so So far, we've talked about getting acclimated to Silicon Valley taken about a year the founders when they do come here, it normally will take them a little while to get acclimated and when they're here they should associate outside of just their their home countries group of course, we talked about when have a startup team here wants to outsource their their development to Ukraine best to have a project manager or one or two points of contact here for that team over overseas. There'll be a cultural difference also be a time difference.     But the cultural difference is the biggest trumps everything else trumps everything else. We also talked about the technology technological Park and the benefits of it with everyone in such a community. What are we missing? What, what hasn't been covered so far?     Matthew Lewis  20:46    Hmm. One area that I'm developing is events that tie together different tech ecosystems. And obviously, the one I care that is key if Okay, I will pull in some others as well. And the time differences difficult, but you can include startups from unit city in the agenda for a particular event. So we have through Silicon Valley planet, that's a group that I formed and yeah, I think you're aware of, it says video, too many too many organizations with Silicon Valley, but     Unknown  21:25    those domain names are taken.     Matthew Lewis  21:28    So we have a, we have a FinTech event coming up on corporate pilots. Okay. We'll have some experienced individuals from big corporations from startups in the FinTech space, and telling us how to be successful in setting up a pilot. what not to do. And I'd like to have a series of such events across different sectors. Okay. Yeah. And I will be working with my colleagues at unit city, and they just launched their first batch of startups. And two of them are from FinTech. So, okay. I will, I will integrate them in my activities here.     Shawn Flynn  22:03    So right now in Ukraine, other FinTech blockchain, what are the developers ahead of their Yeah, on the forefront of     Matthew Lewis  22:11    Yeah, so they're, their strongest verticals are technological verticals, not so much market, and I just want to stress this point. So Ukraine's shortcoming today is     a lack of entrepreneurial experience. My Cheryl is a fantastic entrepreneur, by the way, I'm so impressed by him, I have to say and that part out yet or     not flattering him, and I'm just so impressed.     But as far as technology goes, and engineering know how Ukraine is, is near the top. So that would be blockchain. That would be computer vision.     Let's see, that would be artificial intelligence. That would be Internet of Things. I'm sure I'm missing something. But there four or five that we have really strong teams in. Okay. Yeah,     Shawn Flynn  23:05    that's a and what advice would you give to a founder in Ukraine before coming to Silicon Valley or advice you wish? So if you could pass on any, any one key thing of knowledge? What would it be?     Matthew Lewis  23:19    I suppose I would try to engage in some long distance acclamation, I'd read up, I'd watch a lot of videos like this video, for instance,     I would, I would, I would learn how VCs do business here. Okay, how did they do them different here than in Ukraine. And this is a gross generalization. Okay, so     Unknown  23:42    we got time,     Matthew Lewis  23:45    I would say that typically, in that part of the world businessmen want to control too much they want to, they want to control absolutely everything, their employees, and they're not capable of sharing, they're not interested in sharing, they're afraid of sharing now, my my shareholders the exact opposite of that. And that's why so unusual. He works through partnership. And that's how he grows his businesses and how he manages risk as someone who's lived in that part of the world for so long. That is, I can tell you that it's so unusual and so great to have a shareholder like that for our our tech Innovation Park. So an investor invested in early stage companies, he gonna try to acquire 60% of the company or when you're saying control it, could you go into a little bit more detail? Well, there, there are a number of venture capital firms in Ukraine, and they're good and they're plugged into Silicon Valley. So I'm not I'm not disparaging them at all. There's not enough of them. That's that. That's one problem. Not enough angels. But as I'm speaking about the founders, to the typical businessman, if he's not plugged into the Silicon Valley way of doing things, if he's not trying to get here, you're not educating himself and he's just doing business he just says a new enterprise,     often he'll want to control everything when he when he sells the company, he'll overprice it he'll want to sell 100% and make a killing immediately. Yeah,     Unknown  25:23    so     Unknown  25:26    there's, there's a learning curve. Okay. Yeah, a cultural learning curve. Wow. Yeah,     Shawn Flynn  25:30    that is different about the presentations to pitch decks and that when the companies come here, are they prepared? Or is that something that they have struggled with as well? Yeah,     Matthew Lewis  25:45    the they're if they're a unit city, chances are the pitch decks look pretty good, because we have some really talented folks running our accelerators. We've got one gentleman who spent, I don't know, three, four or five years living in New York City. So there are the national mentors there. Yeah, yeah, we have those. I my, my pet peeve is that they're too colorful, they're too busy. There's just so much graphic artistry going on. I can't see the words. So.     Unknown  26:13    So with that, though,     Shawn Flynn  26:15    like to give you some time, how can people contact you and tell them last little bit about unit city?     Unknown  26:22    Right? Well,     Matthew Lewis  26:24    you'll learn so much more about unit city by coming and I know the majority of you aren't going to do that. So there will be a link in which you'll see our shareholder walking around the tech Innovation Park. And there's English subtitles below that'll give you a great sense of what unit city is all about. Also, if you're interested in the events, and there will be some Ukrainian startups every once in a while. At these events. The the the site to check out is Silicon Valley planet. com.     Unknown  26:53    Okay, can you say that one more time     Matthew Lewis  26:55    Silicon Valley planet. com and unit city unit dot cities the domain name and there'll be a link showing the actual tour of the territory. Okay, yeah, yeah,     Shawn Flynn  27:08    we can have both those links at the bottom under your bio. Yeah, it's Silicon Valley successes. com America wonder how many times we say Silicon Valley and in a sentence but with that would like to thank everyone for watching would also like to mention our next guest, who will be on the show jock, who is a social media expert. He will be talking about using LinkedIn, Facebook, and many other social medias to benefit your startup. So look forward to seeing you at the next episode. Once again, thank you, Matt.     Unknown  27:41    And thank you.     Unknown  27:46    Thank you. From all of us at Silicon Valley successes. We hope you found the information presented today useful in your path to success. For further information on accessing the resources in Silicon Valley. You may visit us on the web at Silicon Valley successes. com on Facebook and YouTube. Thank you. And remember, we want to help you in your journey to become the next     Unknown  28:12    success.   

So today we have Matt from unit city, which is the largest tech park in Ukraine. We're going to talk about startups coming from Ukraine or Eastern Europe here to Silicon Valley. We're going to talk about some of the advantages and disadvantage they have. We're talking about a lot of opportunities that many people at home that's watching this may not know about. So to start, Matt, could you please introduce yourself? Well, first of all, I'd like to say thank you so much for having me on the show.